Motorola hopes for Christmas GPRS coup

Motorola plans to be the first hand-set manufacturer to market a pre-pay GPRS(general packet radio service) enabled mobile phone in time for Christmas.

The mobile phone manufacturer is in talks with all networks about the launch of a pre-pay handset which will operate under GPRS.

But it is likely that BT Cellnet and Vodafone will be the first to launch the product as they were also the first companies to launch GPRS phones under contract in the UK.

GPRS means that users of hand-sets are “always connected, always online” and no longer have to dial each time they want to access the mobile Internet or to check their e-mail. They also pay for the data they want rather than for the time spent dialling and using the mobile Internet.

Motorola is hoping to launch five GPRS-enabled phones in time for Christmas. Motorola UK marketing and operations director Steve Lyons says: “We are working with operators on this but it has yet to be decided whether they will be pre-pay or contract.”

It is understood that the networks are working on a mechanism that will enable a pre-pay card to differentiate between voice calls and the transmission of data. This could delay a launch of a pre-pay GPRS-enabled handset until after Christmas.

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